Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A new career...at my age?


Hello Menopausal Moms!
It’s been a while, but a lot has been going on.  I began a new job!  Yes, me at 51 years of old, decided to take a new career path.  I don’t think anything has ever been so scary, but I am not sure why?

Ok, well I know why a few things were scary.  As you have heard me declare before, I am severely claustrophobic.  And, when I accepted this position, I had no idea I would need to ride in elevators.  That is a big no-no for me.  No way do I get into any contraption that closes up like vampires in their coffins.    

But, after starting my new position, and no ability to turn back, I was told I had to attend a meeting on the 19th floor of the tower next door at the end of the week.  What? OMG!  I began to cry inside.  Do I tell these people I don’t do elevators?  They don’t know me.  Will they think I am crazy?
 
Then that dreaded day arrived.  I reluctantly left my office and walked toward the tower.  As I got closer, the tower seemed to get bigger and scarier.  It was like the big marshmallow man in Ghostbusters! 



I kept looking up and thinking, “I can’t do this.”  And, the tower seemed to stare back at me in laughter!  And, on that particular day, I couldn’t do it.  I turned back and told my supervisor I just wasn’t able to go up 19 floors.  She said, “No worries…we are moving to a new building in a few weeks and you will never have to go into the tower at that point anyway.”  Hallelujah!!   

We are now in the new building, but we are housed on the 4th floor!  UGH!  So, until I get into shape, I have to ride an elevator.  But, I can handle going up 3 floors (we enter on the 1st floor.)  And, my hope is that it may break this fear.  We will see.  If not, stair climbing is in my future! 

Another thing that scared me about this big change was my health.  I had no more than accepted the position and resigned from my teaching position that I pinched a nerve in my neck.  Have you ever pinched a nerve before?  It’s horrible!!  I woke up one morning, sat up in bed and felt like somebody had taken a big vice-grip and pulled my head to my shoulder, and it was locked in pain.  I could barely move.  My husband took me to the emergency room and meds were prescribed.  I ended up having to miss two weeks of my three week notice at the college.  I felt terrible both mentally for missing work and physically because of the intense pain.  But, a big “thank you” to Judge Judy and other courtroom shows for all of the entertainment during this two-week period.  Watching someone else get ripped to shreds helped ease my pain.
 
This is week 6 of healing from this condition.  I have been in physical therapy for a month, and it is helping tremendously!  I have not been able to sleep in my bed since it happened, but the recliner works out ok. L  I still have pain, but much, much lower.  However, this situation too has caused issues at my new place of employment.  I have to come in 15 minutes early to leave 15 minutes early in order to get to my therapy appointments on time.  But, no one seems to mind.  I just feel as though I have not given the best of impressions to my new co-workers.  Hopefully, that will change with time.

At this point, I am finally happy I took on this new challenge.  It was a huge career move, and one that will benefit my family so much!  But, I have to say, for two weeks I kept asking myself, “What have I done?”  I was scared I had made the wrong decision.  I loved the college and my students…and my supervisor was A.MA.ZING!  I miss them all so much!  And, part of my heart will always be there.  But, it was the right decision, and knowing that, I can move forward.  This position was truly a God thing for many reasons!  God has a plan, even for this older menopausal mom, and I cannot wait to see what he has in store! DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TAKE CHANCES!  Age is only a number.
When I wondered what I had done by changing positions,
God showed me a rainbow on my way to work.

The view from my new office!


And, in case you are wondering, I now work for a company called NTT Data where I am a business analyst.  And, I get to work from home part-time. Pretty cool!

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder!
Kim York

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I'm terrible at good byes





By Mary Meehan

I am terrible at good byes.

Well, not good bye, but the part that comes after.

Over the years, I've made a habit of leaving and not looked back. It's never that the people cease to mean something to me or that I don't take them with me or value what we've shared.

It's that I don't know how to disconnect then move back together.

The leaving is so hard for me I tend to just stare straight ahead not behind.

Move on.

Keep moving.

It seemed better that way.

I've got reasons.

I worry that people I miss won't miss me the same way.

And, way too often in the past, my life didn't turn out like I hoped. I failed to live up to the promise that I had.

I got laid off and laid off and laid off.

I got sick. I struggled. I failed.

 And the failures, many as they were, were not the dominate thing in my life but the thing I gave credence so I stayed away and silent because I was embarrassed and ashamed because so many of you seemed to not have those side roads and detours.

And it seemed better for me that, if someone remembered me at all, they remembered me as the person who didn't go through all those things.

Also memory is a tricky thing for me.

My memories are both spotty and horrifying. Neither is ideal and both lead away from embracing nostalgia. I don't always have faith in the way I remember things and I am just learning how to retain the best parts of the past without unleashing a beast I can't wrangle.

Those, to be honest, aren't bad reasons, really.

But this one is stupid and vain. I don't look like I used to. Who does really, except for a few of my friends who have worked hard to take care of themselves or had someone who took good care of them. Those people seem to have a time machine in their back yard and look nearly the same as when I meet them decades ago.

I thought this too would shock and disappoint people. And they would spend whatever imaginary time we had together thinking "man, she has let herself go.

And that reason makes less sense under examination even because when I was young and beautiful, I had no idea that was true. I couldn't see the face in the mirror that I see now looking back at photographs.

So I never embraced what I mourn.

But as I have retreated I have not practiced reaching back again.

Has too much time passed? What's the appropriate level of reconnection? Do the people I once loved so well want me to re-enter their life? What does that even look like?

Questions like that are the reason Facebook is eating the world.

But I've been doing this thing for a year or so now where I try new things. I am thinking differently. I am making better choices and I am trying no to miss out of things that are valuable and meaningful to me because I am afraid.

So, my friends, know that I am terrible at good-byes.

Truly awful.

But know too if you ever knew that you meant something to me, that is true still.

Know that I have wondered about you and been happy for you when I hear of good things and heartbroken for you when things have gone bad. Know that I will do better to reach out and back, to stay in touch, to hold you close in the real world as I have held you in my heart.

I can't promise to do it fully or well but I can promise to try  to be better at what comes after good-bye.



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Four reasons the South is better than the Nawth

By Mary Meehan
The Accidental Sexter


I've enjoyed my time up Nawth but here are some ways that the South will always rule. Here are four.


Water and Waiters: At a restaurant in the South they bring you a big 'ole glass of water. It appears as if a welcome gift. In the north they first ask if you'd sparkling or still. Then they bring you a tiny glass with the air that they are doing you a favor. Now, I understand that water is becoming a rarer resource but my tiny sipping glass is 1 percent of the water required to wash, rinse and repeat the beard of my server. (They all have beards)

Stars And Birds: At night in the South you can see stars. Lots of them. It makes me feel humble  and small yet connected to a much bigger something in the universe. And there is nothing I love more than hearing the symphony of birds every morning just outside my window. In the north there are stars, I'm sure, but you can't see them and there are birds but I assume they can't afford the rents in most cities as gentrification looms so have grudgingly relocated South.

Lines: People in the North are conditioned to stand in line. I think sometimes they line up by habit unaware of what they are waiting for. There are lines for everything. Coffee, groceries, crossing the street. Yes, there are lines in the South say, when snow is coming and everyone must buy milk and eggs and bread or when there is post-church Sunday rush at Cracker Barrel but at least there they provide rocking chairs.

"Those People": Only once have I heard someone in the South talk about poor or working class people as "Those People" and to be frank, she was a bitch who later scammed her family and friends out of tens of thousands of dollars. In the North I've heard "those people" so many times I've become militant about pointing out that "those people" are my people and also a majority of Americans

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

50 Shades of Blake


You know it’s time to buy a new car when your car says, “I’m done!” 
It’s kind of like a woman going through menopause…our bodies just don’t want to run like they used to. The car will start having its own version of hot flashes, and begin leaking all over the place.  It will get tempermental sometimes and decide to shut down.  Its joints will ache and begin locking up.  Its skin will dry out and begin cracking… all because it is getting older.  The mileage typically tells the whole story!  Ain’t that the truth!
So, I took my worn-out car to a dealership to trade for a new one, and the manager says, “We are going to have to send this one to the auction…it is too old for us to do anything with, and the problems with this car are only going to get worse.  I just can’t offer you much in cash for the car.”  I sadly understood that, as it seemed to hit home!  I began to feel bad about trading it in. 

The car had a name; no one knew this except for me.  Her name was Pie (you know, like the horse from “National Velvet.”J)   I began to wonder who would appreciate the miles Pie had left?  She still ran great…and she was super dependable!  She just had some, “issues.” 









The car salesman knew I was unsure of trading in Pie for something new, but he was GOOD!  He took me to meet Pie’s younger brother, and told me all about his modern and technilogical features.  He was eye candy!  His color was silver and he was laced with black leather.  He had all kinds of buttons I wanted to push, and I was getting excited.  Then, he gave me the keys and said, “Let’s take it for a spin.”  I felt as if I were having an affair as I snuggled down into those plush leather seats… and drove it I did! 


I knew this car’s name immediately.  It was Blake (do I need to say why?)  Wouldn’t you like to see Blake in a silver t-shirt and black leather pants? (Even Adam would like to see that!)  Suddenly, I no longer wanted Pie…I wanted, Blake!  Pie was sweet, but Blake is hot! 
 

He was calling for me to pick him!










So, I drove off into the sunset with Blake last week.  I listened to him serenade sweet music to me on the way home, and I sank into his leather arms as if we were cuddling up to a fire.  His headlights were piercing and his seats were warm and toasty.  He made me feel special, loved and secure.  What more could a menopausal mom ask for?

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder.
Kim York

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Why Every Digital Media Company Needs Me...or someone like me




By Mary Meehan
I'm the one who enjoyed Magic Mike

I am middle-aged white woman, from rural state but every digital media company needs me or someone like me.

Just a couple of housekeeping things. First, I can talk the language: The analytics on my Twitter show a trending 41 percent increase week over week due primarily actual engagement but there is the potential that spamming bots are pushing the diagnostics, but, no, I can't share actual raw numbers because that information is proprietary.

Second, I want to engage fully in the a digital age although to be honest, I'm still on the fence about Snap Chat, mostly because my friends don't Snap back. I'm also not sure SnapChat or stories via instant messaging bots with artificial intelligence are going to save journalism but, what the heck, I'm willing to give it a try.

And while I know the visual with the gray hair could be a troublesome let's just say I paid a salon to it since that is in fact now a thing. Here is an article from Buzzfeed, a place that if they had someone like me would have come up with something better than  #GrannyHairForever.

ONE:
I'm your audience. I know you long for someone sleeker and younger -- who wouldn't? -- but Facebook ate the world because people like me can figure out how to use it.Yes, that means there are too many pictures of dogs on couches but there is something to be said for having a member of your actual end game audience on your team because, as of today, you still have to reach that market to have a real stake in the mass media world.

TWO:
Everything new is familiar. SnapChat is a new technology but a familiar idea. We called it chunky bits. It was an alternative story form in vogue way back in the last century. It takes practice to get good at it. I am good at it. In fact, I'm very good at storytelling and, no matter how you package it, that's what we are trying to do

THREE
Have you met us? Ethan Zuckerman, head of MITs Civic Media Lab, tells a story about how relieved MIT parents are that they kids finally find "their people". Brilliant people, he says, who are nearly all on "The Spectrum" who find the regular world often confounding. I am gregarious and funny and prone to random acts of hugging. Sure at first you might find me terrifying at but I am empathetic, smart and a thoughtful listener overall a necessary barometer of what the other kind of humans can understand.

FOUR
Balls out is fine but there's a line. So, Dear Vice, I'm sorry I told one of your fearless leaders that his video about riots in Brazil felt like he was trying to make war seem fun. I should have I was concerned because he his infantile fantasy of war is actually a reaction to the trauma of the actual death, blood and chaos that comes with real war. So as a member of your team, I'd remind you that the best journalist have an instinct to go hard all the time but a responsible employer helps them look out for own their best interest, (Wait, all media companies need to do that and often don't) Plus, you can make a video where war looks like fun but someone in the room should be asking if you should.


FIVE
I get the fundamentals. The head of BBC recently talked about how in the tangle of platforms and efforts to blanket the digital world with a story about a red door the whole frantic and impressive crew forgot to get a picture of the red door. It's ironic that some folks are now saying get it out and fix it later but we all know that once something gets out on the wide world of web you can't really take it back. So if the idea of taking a few minutes to double check something is old school journalism, I'm old school because in a digital age getting it right the first time matters more than ever.


***Why 5? Three is too few. Six just seems awkward. Ten seems like bragging.

Menopausal Moms has been read in over 50 countries. Shout out to a new reader from Alegeria.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Get those wrinkled hands off my steering wheel!

Driving to work last week, I had an “a-ha” moment, except mine was more like an “o-crap” moment.  As I was driving along, I glanced down at the steering wheel.  At that moment, I didn’t recognize the hands driving my car.  That could not possibly be MY hands!  They look like my grandmother’s!  Where did all of those wrinkles come from?  I know they weren’t there yesterday!!

I feel as though I got old overnight.  I was looking in the mirror as I put on my massive amounts of make-up this morning, and I saw wrinkles around my eyes and mouth I had never noticed before.  Seriously, how could this happen so suddenly?  I know I have to “tinkle” much more than I used to, and I get that my joints ache much more now-a-days, and I understand 50 is really not the new 30.  But, how do wrinkles just seem to form overnight? UGH!

Now, I find myself looking at “those” advertisements that used to completely annoy me.  Here are just a few:

1.   RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Serum

This anti-aging formula is clinically proven to help visibly reduce both fine lines and deep wrinkles.
 
2.   Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Anti-aging moisturizer hydrates and renews to firm and lift, helping retain skin’s youthful surface contours
Reduces the look of up to 10 years of wrinkles in just 4 weeks
Formula with advanced Amino-Peptide Complex penetrates deep into skin surface to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles fast
Visible wrinkle results start day 1
3.   Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair
 
Clinically proven to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles in just one week.

Wrinklecreamguide.net offers their two-cents worth regarding the top wrinkle creams for us Menopausal Moms to purchase.  Prices can be as low as $25.99, but some sell for $179.99.  All that I can say is, “wow!”  And, that is not a good “wow.”
 

The advertisements for wrinkle reduction creams are actually flooding the market now…of course we know Baby Boomers are all part of this market, so it makes sense. We are a big group!  And, I am one of the last Baby Boomers…December 1964!  I was a late Boomer… J

But, this market is not just focused on females.  Nope, women are not alone in this race to reduce wrinkles.  There are many males out there in search of younger looking skin too!  According to an article by CNBC, titled, “
Real men don't cry—but they are exfoliating,” men are part of a growing market of consumers in search of personal care products and “mampering.”  Yes, I’m serious.  This term refers to men who want to be pampered, and evidently this includes a lot of men!  I'm not judging....


This is a blurb from the December 2014 article:
http://www.cnbc.com/2014/12/05/

 Since 2012, beauty and personal care launches specifically targeted at men have increased globally by more than 70 percent, according to Mintel. In 2014, total U.S. sales for the men's personal care market hit $4.1 billion, up 6.7 percent from 2012 and 19 percent from 2009, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of the beauty industry. Mintel predicts sales will grow to $4.6 billion by 2019.”

But, which products are best? 

I decided to go to a higher quality department store to ask for suggestions.  The suggestion was, by more than one sales person, or consultant of other brands, to use Clinique products, so I am giving them a try.  The 3-piece set is assembled based on your skin type.  My skin is very dry, so I have moisturizing soap, moisturizer and moisture surge make-up.  I even bought a product specific to tightening up the loose skin above my eyes.  I will keep you updated on my progress.  Oh, and my total purchase was about $150.00.  I didn’t think that was too expensive. 
I hope my husband doesn't read this.
But, do any of our readers have products they are using that they could recommend?  Do the products have to be expensive?  I had one person tell me just to use cocoanut oil.  Has anyone tried that?  Let’s try to help each other out.  Testing these products could get really expensive!  Just comment below and tell us what works, or does not work, for you. 

May your hot flashes be mild and your wrinkles even milder!
Kim York

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Twitter: A lesson in liberation in 140 characters

This picture has nothing to do with the text but it's pretty


By Mary Meehan
I'm the one who is an accidental sexter

Don't feel bad for not understanding Twitter

It's like the Cloud and Donald Trump's choice of hair style -- truly unfathomable.

The Trump/Hair joke is cheap, I know, but I needed to get it in before anti-Trump comments are banned.

A semi-famous,  tech-savvy head of a pseudo-solvent, start-up said recently that no one really understands Twitter.

In fact, he admitted that other things we middle-aged, middle Americans will never use and have likely never heard of like SnapChat remain stubbornly without instruction. Why is that? "Digital natives", people who have been playing with our phones since they were 3, don't like instructions, they just like to figure it out. Apparently, this is because it makes them feel like the digital "in crowd" .

This is the same group that can't crack the code of doing their own laundry, getting their own apartments and who are also entranced with the pencil as an object 'd art that needs to be perfectly balanced and created by craftspeople in a gluten-free workshop in Portland ...Oregon, of course, not Maine.

I understand the sentiment. It is like being the first girl in 5th grade to discover One Direction on via the Internet and telling your Mom who became equally smitten, although you've moved but she stayed weirdly obsessed....oh those cheeky lads!!!

It seems like a really stupid business plan. Make your product impossible to use beyond early adapters who will soon move onto something else they can decipher before others which means you never really grab a suitably broad base in of any market share to to succeed,.

But that's not why we are here today.

By saying no one understands Twitter my semi-famous anonymous source was onto something. I've jumped on social media, Twitter in particular, not because I longed to express myself in 140 characters but because my job told me I had to.

So, for me, there was no joy in Tweeting. Most of us in media, which includes me but I don't like to talk about it, jumped on Twitter because it was the next big thing five years ago and we missed the next big thing of 15 years ago, the Internet, so we don't let any Big Thing pass without throwing ourselves at it like a Ted Cruz launching himself at an uncommitted delegate.
And, like that uncommitted delegate, I didn't enjoy it. I didn't have any real back and forth with followers, I followed all who followed me because I just wanted to see those numbers rise. (Shout out to GdatAustrailia! 140 characters, who can say anything in 140 characters?

So now I have, collectively, a whopping 250 followers here's the life lesson that seems like a good motto for the wider world.

I know you've been waiting. The back and forth is fun. The differing opinions are enlightening. The movement and pace of the exchanges are enticing and, the best part, if I don't like something I can bounce.

So here is Twitter motto that I'm also applying in my non-digital life.

I decide to who follow, I decide who to block, what's important and what's noise. I'm tethered to no one and they get no say if I go.

(That's 140 characters)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Polyester pants…yes, please!


I remember thinking as a teenager, I would never wear those bright-colored, polyester pants all of the “old” women wore with elastic bands around the waist. 
 
 
Oh no, I was going to be a fashionably cognizant older woman who would wear form-fitting, classy clothing, and carry designer handbags.    
 

Did I mention I wasn’t too bright as a teenager?

As I have become this “older” woman, I have come to understand why “those” women wear pants with elastic bands.  When I am about to go number one…unbuttoning and unzipping pants is no fun!  It’s a sprint to the bathroom from the start…and, once I know it is time to go…get out of my way Chico!  
So, now I have learned to love and embrace pants with elastic bands.  They make “going,” so much easier!  And, here is the best part about embracing elastic band pants in our day and age…Ponte Pants!  Yes, finally designers have figured it out.  No more bright-colored, nerdy, elastic band pants!  Now we have designer, professional, Ponte Pants!  All major, classy department and fashion shops sell them.  And, they cannot keep them in stock!
I own 2 pair in every color.  I have classic black, grey, brown, crème, and even red!  These pants are now part of my everyday life!  It is not a matter of what I am wearing; it is a matter of what blouse I wear with which color Ponte Pant?  

Although, I will say I have also fallen in love with a clothing brand called, Lularoe.  Lularoe offers comfort, but in figure-flattering designs!  No buttons or zippers to deal with on their clothing either…and their leggings are to die for!  These clothes were meant for sprints to the ladies room!  I was only introduced to Lularoe this year, but I can wear any of their blouses with any of my Ponte Pants.  That makes me a happy girl! 
 
Getting old changes everything in our lives…even our clothing. I guess it is a rite of passage.  It is a sucky rite of passage, but one all the same.  And, I have made that transition.  Yes, I am now an “older” woman who wears pants with elastic bands.

May your hot flashes be mild, and your wrinkles even milder!
Kim York